Agua de Jamaica is a refreshing tea infusion made with hibiscus flowers and raw sugar served chilled over ice. One of the most popular “aguas frescas”, this traditional beverage has a sweet and tart taste and a gorgeous ruby color.
It is very popular in Mexico and some parts of Central America. Together with Agua de Horchata and Agua de Sandia (Watermelon agua fresca), this Agua de Jamaica is perfect to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.
What is Agua de Jamaica made from?
Agua de Jamaica is typically made from the tropical Hibiscus sabdariffa flower (commonly known as hibiscus flowers), water, and raw sugar.
The flowers are usually sold in any Latin American store or online (this is an affiliate link and I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you).
What are the benefits of drinking Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants and a 2010 study found that consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure.
Does Hibiscus Tea Help Lose Weight?
Some people suggest it helps with weight management as it speeds up your metabolism due to its laxative properties.
I personally find this is pretty far-fetched. However, I guess if your go-to drink is soda pop and you replace it with unsweetened or lightly sweetened Agua de Jamaica this can most definitely be true.
In my opinion, the only thing that will most definitely help with weight loss is an overall nutrient-dense clean diet avoiding (or strongly limiting) overly processed foods and drinks.
Avoid soda pop completely. Instead, drink plenty of plain water or lemon-infused water.
How to make Agua de Jamaica
It is as easy as making any other herbal tea.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers and 1/3 to 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar. Add a bit less if using agave nectar or honey instead.
- Stir well and boil for 1-2 minutes. Then cover and remove from heat.
- Let it sit from 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you want the flavor, then strain the flowers.
- Let the infusion cool and then pour into a pitcher with 4 cups of cold water.
- Add some ice cubes to a glass and pour this refreshing Agua de Jamaica in it. Enjoy!
Is Sugar Necessary in Agua de Jamaica?
Absolutely not! If you love tart-flavored drinks like unsweetened cranberry juice, for example, you will absolutely enjoy Agua de Jamaica unsweetened too.
For me, the flavor is a little too tart so I like to sweeten the tea with as natural sweeteners as possible.
My favorite sweeteners for hibiscus tea are honey, raw sugar, or agave nectar.
Agua de Jamaica
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 4 cups water - 1 liter
- 1/4-1/3 cup turbinado sugar - (or less quantity of honey or agave nectar)
- ice cubes
- 4 cups cold water - 1 liter
- If you remember the night before, make some special flower ice cubes by placing one hibiscus flower into each compartment of your ice cube tray, fill with water and let freeze overnight.
- Bring water to the boil and once boiling add hibiscus flowers and turbinado sugar. Stir well to make sure the flowers get all wet and don’t just sit on top of the water and the sugar dissolves. Boil for a minute or two, then add the lid and remove from the stove.
- Let sit for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea), then strain the flours.
- Pour into a pitcher filled with 4 cups of cold water and plenty of ice cubes.
- Serve over more ice and enjoy!